Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick and Treating!


Happy Halloween!! Jacob and Abi have throughly enjoyed their weekend of trick and treating. Friday we were on Schinnen with Jacob's friend's Landon and Logan. I've borrowed a photo off Michelle to add to this blog. Today, actual Halloween, we cycled into Sittard to have lunch in the square as it was lovely weather. While having a coffee a Witch came up to Jacob and Abi and invited them to a Witches workshop. So off we went and learnt how to dance like a witch, cackle like one too and then they made potions. I tried one - very sweet! They had a lovely time but unfortunately I forgot the camera. Tonight we're just back from going around the neighbours houses. I have included a photo outside the house.

School's back tomorrow - hooray, Allen and I have the day together.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Grandma, Matthew and Amy's visit.


Before we get to Grandma's visit Jacob and Abi had book week at school. They did various activities during the week. Allen went in and read to both classes which went down well with Jacob and Abi. On the Friday they got to dress up as a character from their favourite book. Jacob chose Harry Potter and Abi chose Winnie the Witch. Luckily Allen was in the UK for half of the week and managed to find a Harry Potter cloak in Toys R Us, for Abi we just put together an outfit but did buy her a broom in Sittard. I've included a photo of them both while they paraded through the school to the gym. They both looked great.

Mum, Matthew and Amy arrived on Sunday. Abi and I went to get them from Genk train station. They'd had a good trip across although Steve had had to drive them into London due to a mix up in the train timetable from Harlington. They settled in, playing and exploring around the house. On the Monday we had borrowed bikes for everyone so we cycled into our nearest town, Sittard. We went to a good cafe called Bagels and Beans. I've included a photo of the cousins sitting on the soft bagel! We had a look around the shops although lots were closed as it's half day closing for many of the shops here on a Monday, they also close Wednesday afternoon. We cycled home and, after lunch, went on a walk. We walked up to the local ice cream parlour, unfortunately it too was shut. So we did a long walk following wooden owls - they are carved into tree stumps and point the way to walk. It took us an hour and a half as I'd not done it before and didn't know how long it would take! We enjoyed it all the same and it was lucky I had kit kats in my bag to help the walkers along. On the Tuesday we decorated the house for Halloween and made Halloween cookies to decorate later. Allen then took the kids onto base to go swimming as they had an inflatable in the pool followed by hot dogs to eat afterwards. Mum and I walked into Munstergeleen and looked around the little shops that are there - very gifty but nice. Wednesday we got the train to Maastrict. It's on the river Maas, hence it's name, and is a lovely old city. We just wandered around, stopping for coffee, shopping, lunch and ice cream. There is definitely more to do there so we will visit again. Jacob and I took them back to Genk station on Thursday for their trip back. They managed to miss getting off at Brussels but still got back in time for the Eurostar connection! It was great seeing all of them and hope Dad, Katharine and Steve will visit next time. I've included a photo from Maastrict too.

Michelle came and picked us up on Thursday mid morning and took us onto base where we had lunch and went bowling. They then brought us back and stayed playing for a few hours. She has Landon and Logan who are in Jacob's year and also go to cubs with us. Abi baked more biscuits for Halloween. On Friday we got ready for Trunk and Treating also on the American base. Abi went as Tinkerbell, Jacob an army man, Allen a vampire and me a cat. We had a good time with the kids ending up with way too much 'candy'. We also went bowling again as it was free. I forgot the camera but will remember to take some photos on the 31st! You may notice that Abi is holding a bear in each photo. We have had Barnaby bear for half term. She has to take Barnaby with her and write about what he does. So Barnaby has been everywhere with us and Abi has written loads!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Valkenburg and Gangelt


I helped out on Jacob's year group trip to the Valkenburg mine. Brunssum is an old mining town as is a lot of the local area. Valkenburg also has a castle so I'll have to take Allen there so we can explore a bit more. The mining was coal. I learnt a lot and it was all the more interesting due to the Chilean mine rescue happening at the same time. An old miner took us on the tour and we saw the mine trains, drills, seams, conveyor belts that conveyed coal, rocks and the miners themselves. He let the kids have a go with a pnuematic drill (no health and safety concerns which was nice and refreshing!), they all piled onto a train and they also had a go on the mining bikes. I've put a photo in of Jacob driving the train and one of him in the tunnels. The kids thought it was great although some of the Americans were a bit dramatic about not being able to breath etc.

We had a busy Saturday of gymnastics, selling cub scout popcorn, Ikea shopping and then general shopping too plus breakfast and lunch out. Today, Sunday, we went to Gangelt wildlife park in Germany. It was great. The best bit for Jacob and Abi was feeding the animals. I've included a photo of feeding the deer. They liked the play park too. As you can see from their clothing it was a chilly autumn day. We may end up getting a season pass as I think they would happily visit here again and again and it will look very different in each season.

Allen's off to the UK tomorrow for a few days. My Mum, Nephew and Niece arrive for half term in a week so we're hoping to do more exploring with them. J&A have Wednesday off so we're going to try either an indoor swimming centre or an indoor play place. House is being repainted tomorrow, hoping it won't be too much of a mess!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fashion Show


Allen had a nice week in Spain while we were as busy as normal here. I did 2 long walks with one of the neighbours and then a long cycle. I also got my haircut. Jacob's year group all did a fashion show. He wore his Beaver outfit and looked very good and also different to everyone else. Jacob read really well too and I was very proud of him. I have put a photo in of him and his friend Jonathan. I then stayed at school and helped in Abi's class. She is very different at school, still a tad bossy but very good. We went swimming after school on Base. This was our first trip to the base pool. I didn't have to go in as one of the other mum's did. It felt pretty cold to me but Jacob and Abi had a lovely time. We were meant to be going to Trafalgar Night but, due to Allen's trip, we cancelled. We wouldn't have got to it in time as Allen didn't get back to the house until 7pm.

Abi had gymnastics this morning, she loved it and we're off to cycle into Sittard for an early tea with Beccie, Mark and Amy.


Cub camp and apples!


Had another busy week, this post is really the previous week. Jacob took part in his first cub camp.We all went and helped put up his tent, well Abi didn't help at all as there was a play area to amuse her. Allen stayed with Jacob so Abi and I went home and enjoyed Chinese and a Barbie movie. I was woken by the phone at 7.50am with Allen on the end asking to be picked up! It had rained all night and their shoes were soaked as they had left them outside! Nothing else was wet and it had only rained while they had been in the tent. They had had a cooked breakfast too. We left the tent up as Jacob could camp another night if he wanted and I took them both home for showers. Jacob then had a birthday party to go to on the American base. A boy in his class called Landon was turning 8. Landon has a twin brother called Logan and Jacob plays with both of them. Landon's mum meet us at the gate and we then went to the bowling party. It was good fun and Abi was allowed to join in. We spent 2 and a half hours there after which Jacob was knackered and didn't want to go camping again! So Allen and I went and took the tent down while the kids watched a movie with a neighbour. The tent was still wet so we put it in the garage. It dried the next day as it was lovely weather.

During the week I went on a class trip with Abi's year group. We went to an appple and pear farm on the German side. There was a bit of a language problem but it was still good fun and we all learnt a lot. We got to pick a few apples and eat them and I had a tummy ache at the end as the ones I picked weren't ripe! After the trip I went to one of the British ladies' house for lunch. She'd done a veggie spread and it was very tasty. I've put in a photo from the camping and one from the apple trip.

This coming week Jacob is doing a fashion show at school and Allen's off to Spain for work.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Grandma's 70th Birthday


This is being posted a little late, sorry. We've had a hectic week since coming back from the UK so this is the first evening I've had to post. Last weekend we went back to the UK for my Mum's 70th birthday. We decided to leave early on Saturday morning and had booked the Chunnel. It all worked perfectly and we even got on the train before our booking. The M25 was clear, for once, and we managed a stop at Asda as we were early. Had lunch with mum and dad and then Jacob and Abi went swimming with their cousins and Grandma so me and Allen could go and see Ali and her new arrival Teddy. I cuddled Teddy for 2 hours and he slept the whole time. He was lovely. It was good to catch up with Ali and Jeremy without distractions. I've included a photo of me and Teddy. We got back to mum's in time to put J&A to bed and to eat a yummy Indian meal - haven't had Indian since being in Holland however we have got a great Chinese take out in our village. For mum's celebration we had a brunch at the bungalow. All the local family came so it was a busy house with loads of food. It was good to see everyone. I've included a photo of Mum, Jacob and Abi with the present they got her. We went back on the Chunnel and managed to get on an hour before we were meant to so were back home by 10.15pm. A good weekend even though we were only back for 24 hours. Stocked up on things we were missing from home, hula hoops, weetabix, maple syrup plus quite a bit more!

Since geting back it's been busy and I'll post that next ......